Ken Davidoff's baseball insider

Yankees, Mets, trade rumors, free agents, off-the-wall predictions and other MLB musings.

Mariano Rivera's successors, Johan Santana and the Theo Epstein compensation

New York Yankees' Mariano Rivera fields a grounder

New York Yankees' Mariano Rivera fields a grounder during practice at spring training. (Feb. 20, 2012) (Credit: AP )

First of all, we'll do a live chat Thursday at 3:00 from sunny Florida. If you want an e-mail reminder, you can sign up here.

It's my first day at Yankees camp, and it's as calm as I anticipated. I spoke with David Robertson, Rafael Soriano, and Brian Cashman about Mariano Rivera's non-announcement announcement from yesterday, and my Newsday teammate Erik Boland spoke with Joe Girardi.

Robertson expressed skepticism that Rivera would actually retire and offered the best line: "You never know. He could Brett Favre us. That’s all I’m saying."

I'd appreciate if you didn't share this with the competition, but I'm going to write about the Rivera situation for tomorrow's Newsday. The best way for the Yankees to groom a new closer is to simply collect as many quality arms as they can and see how it shakes out.

--At Mets camp, Terry Collins appointed Johan Santana as his Opening Day starting pitcher. Perhaps such a declaration has value from a good karma standpoint, but it has minimal real world impact. Santana has much to prove - everything, really - between now and April 5.

--The Cubs and Red Sox finally decided the issue of compensation for Theo Epstein, about four months since Epstein joined the Cubs. Pitching prospect Chris Carpenter (not the veteran Cardinals pitcher) and a player to be named later go to the Red Sox.

It's not a great haul for Boston, but it is a potentially useful piece, and that should be the case. If Epstein is valuable enough to the Cubs to guarantee him almost $18 million, then the Red Sox should receive something of value in return for letting him out of his contract.

--Have a great day.

Tags: Theo Epstein , Chris Carpenter , David Robertson , Mariano Rivera , Rafael Soriano , Johan Santana , Terry Collins

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